So considering all I just revealed to you, I went to Pantheacon for the very first time on Saturday, February 16th with a young friend just coming out into Leathersex whom I met through my womyn's spirituality community. It was her Leather debut, and both of our debuts at Pantheacon. Like someone said to me at the Conference "There's not much left at our age where you can still be a Virgin!" And I told her that was true! I remember the first time I was at Michigan Womyn's Music Festival in 2001 after a very difficult breakup and losing my house as a result, being a Festi Virgin as they call it! And they tease us, it IS a Rite of Initiation and Introduction for sure!
As I knew I would be going into Battle as an Amazon Warrior, defending Dianic Wicca and WBW space in some capacity or another, I decided to go for my Inner City Leather Witch/LeatherAmazon persona, rather than as my lighter 'Amazon in the Woods' persona which I feel on womyn's Lands or in womyn's ritual.....my Leather is my Armour, my Top's hat, my Crown. For those of you into the whole 'Queen' thing perhaps you can relate. The only Queen I am is an Amazon one, but the word doesn't resonate for me, as I have other far more stark terms for that. And my Leather Crown, my Top's hat, expresses THAT clearly for me and to others.
I checked in with my womyn's spirituality community, and we were giving away buttons, one of them with Labryises, and they didn't even have them out, and I put them out. We talked and hugged each other, and of course I wanted to shock and surprise them, because for all the reasons I previously mentioned I vowed to them I would NEVER go to Pantheacon because it had men and trans, and it was hostile to Dianic Wicca and WBW space and ritual, especially the last two years, and that basically I don't mix my magic with nonFemales. Those who aren't proud to be Female and WBW.
But, I've ALWAYS been curious about Pantheacon since so many of my Witch friends and womyn from my womyn's spirituality community attended, and kinda always felt left out about it. Also in February I've rarely had much money to go since it's always the time of year when I have the least work, Wintertime. However this year I got my taxes back and had some funds to work with. And other blessings of the Goddess granted to me perhaps by Brigid, after doing a WONDERFUL dedication ritual with a Dianic circle in my neighborhood I attend frequently. Though mostly straight women and led by one, they are friendly and welcoming and I am bonding with them more and more. It's also NICE to have a local circle only a mile or so away from me! We raised alot of energy that night on Brigid exactly two Saturdays before Pantheacon, and She has been blessing me ever since, and we've endured a hard year.
A Sister from my womyn's spirituality community texted me that a woman from one of the online Goddess groups was asking for me at Pantheacon, and I told her I wasn't there. Then I talked to my young friend online and we both really wanted to go, so we decided to carpool. I told her if I wasn't back to her by 10am, I wouldn't be going. I talked to my partner that morning she gave me her blessing and I called my young pal and told her I decided to go...so that put everything in motion.
We didn't arrive till about 3 pm, and checked in with our womyn's spirituality community, before each of us was off to workshops. I went to one about 'Telling Your Story', but the woman was so manic, and so nerdy, she really wasn't a very good presenter, and it wasn't participatory at all...there were a few exercises she gave us, and some good ideas, but with her manicness, she just droned on and on, without allowing us to really get into our creativity and write our stories much, or into 'right brain' space. I finally left 15 minutes before the workshop was up.
I went back our womyn's community suite, and had a hard time deciding on the next workshop: would it be "Queering the Great Rite" OR 'The Goddess Morrigan and Fighting Your Battles" which looked like a heavy ritualistic workshop. I read about all the presenters of each workshop, and as much as I felt strongly about 'fighting my battles with Morrigan at my side, those things I felt passionately about', I also felt strongly about Queer Sex Magic and have to say I was a bit intrigued by the workshop leader's Leather credentials, as well as having been a Tantrika, and perhaps hearing how others in the Lesbian/Gay and other queer communities expressed the intersection of their sexuality and spirituality together. A pal told me she thought that would be right up my ally, and that the person leading the Morrigan workshop was kind of full of herself....self promotional. I was also fearful of taking on such a powerful energy as the Morrigan at this time. Especially after having been through such immense Darkness the last several months.
So, off I went with my young pal to 'Queering the Great Rite'. We sat at the end of the table in the big plush executive chairs, a place of power. We socialized with others waiting for the presenter to arrive. When she did, she was perhaps in her 30's, MAYBE her 40's, hard to read agewise, butch looking and medium height and weight. She set a large Athame, more dagger/short sword sized and a cup on the table. There wasn't much more prep than that in her setting up of an altar. Then she dinged the sword against the cup to get people's attention. She identified herself as 'Genderqueer' and 'brown'(Hispanic). Then she asked everybody how they identified. 'Are you also Genderqueer like me? Are you a Cis Male, Cis Female?' Explaining Cis to be the other side of trans, or someone whose 'gender presentation matches their sex'. Are you Trans male, Trans Female?' ect. ect. There was NEVER anything mentioned about being a Dyke, a Lesbian or a Butch! Those terms were NEVER used. I do not identify as 'Cis' because it is used as a hate word against us by the Trans, and it is THEIR TERM for us, NOR does it speak to me, since my so called 'Gender' does not fit my Biological sex....because the way THEY speak of 'Gender' is always referring to heterosexual femininity for females, and heterosexual masculinity for males...so NO NEITHER fit me AS A BUTCH DYKE! I've always been OUTSIDE OF heterosexually defined female gender roles... and suffered the price, but NEITHER will I allow ANYONE to take away my Femaleness OR my womonhood!
This I learned from the Dyke Witches, Radical Dykes and Butch Dykes I came out with, who TAUGHT me PRIDE in my Femaleness, spiritually, sexually and emotionally AS A BUTCH, and that I had a place, at last, in womonhood. Back then, Butches were PROUD to be Female and the Guardians and Amazons of the impending 'Women's Revolution' we were all working for. When we had our Dyke bookstores and coffeeshops, our Dyke printing presses and businesses, and burgeoning womyn's festivals and plenty of Lesbian only and women only space. I remember going to Lesbians Colorado and my first Women's/Lesbian concert was with Meg Christian and ONLY women were allowed to attend! No men! This was in the city, in a large auditorium. I LOVED that it was women only, and almost all Lesbian only.
I'm digressing again. It did not bode well for me. But neither did I want to be an asshole and say 'Cis is a hate word for many of us', even though I was itching to say it....I would do a 'wait and see'.